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Find Primary Sources: Home

Finding Primary Sources

To identify primary sources in Milne Library, search the IDS Search Catalog using terms that reflect your research topic in conjunction with words that reflect the kinds of primary sources you are looking for. Use the same strategy to search WorldCat for primary sources held in other libraries, then use the “GET IT” icon to request that IDS borrow the items for you.

  • Personal narratives 
  • Correspondences
  • Biography (autobiography is not an official subject heading—use Biography, then check to see if the author is a subject)
  • Oral history
  • Sources

Primary Sources

Examples of Primary Sources

  • Diaries, memoirs, and autobiographies
  • Personal papers, organizational paper
  • Speeches
  • Interviews, oral history, personal narratives (transcripts or audio)
  • Letters
  • Photographs and recordings
  • Images
  • Newspaper/magazine articles (written at the time studied)
  • Artifacts
  • Government information
  • Maps
  • Manuscripts
  • Presidential papers
  • Legal cases (decisions, transcripts, hearings, treaties)
  • Statistical data, census records, research results

    Subject Guide

    Sue Ann Brainard's picture
    Sue Ann Brainard
    Contact:
    Milne Library Instruction Office
    585-245-5062